December 6, 2013 11:02 am

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn smiles during the signing of the pension overhaul legislation bill Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, in Chicago. Looking on from left are: Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington; Senate GOP leader Sen. Christine Radogno; Rep. Darlene Senger, R-Naperville; Rep. Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs; House Speaker Michael Madigan and Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn smiles during the signing of the pension overhaul legislation bill Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, in Chicago. Looking on from left are: Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington; Senate GOP leader Sen. Christine Radogno; Rep. Darlene Senger, R-Naperville; Rep. Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs; House Speaker Michael Madigan and Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

Gov Pat Quinn signed the pension “reform” bill into law in a private ceremony with the following people in attendance:

  • Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington
  • Senate GOP leader Sen. Christine Radogno
  • Rep. Darlene Senger, R-Naperville
  • Rep. Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs
  • House Speaker Michael Madigan
  • Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago

From the Chicago Tribune:

Gov. Pat Quinn launched Illinois’ epic attempt to bail itself out of a $100 billion public employee pension debt Thursday, signing into law an ambitious financial, legal and political effort to restore the state’s tumbling credit ratings and unstable economy.

Despite the historic nature of the law, which takes effect June 1, the Democratic governor signed the measure behind closed doors, joined by top lawmakers. The quietness of the event symbolized the controversial nature of a package that has split longtime political allegiances and quickly become fodder for the 2014 campaign season.

The private bill signing stood in sharp contrast to the public pep rally that master of ceremonies Quinn held when he put his signature on Illinois’ gay marriage law little more than two weeks earlier, a move that reaffirmed support among progressives.

The government unions, as anticipated, have decided to sue:

“Senate Bill 1 is attempted pension theft, and it’s illegal. Once overturned, its purported savings will evaporate, and the state’s finances and pension systems will be left in worse shape.

“Our coalition has been consistently in contact with our attorneys, and today we directed them to prepare to file suit. We will challenge SB 1 as violating the constitution and ask for a stay of the legislation’s implementation pending a ruling on its constitutionality.”